Summer 2019 Season

 


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Saturday July 20th at 8pm

We were on our summer break, but we couldn’t turn down the opportunity to host the World Premiere of The CuBOYd, a debut short film by local lads Jack, Joe and Joe, erstwhile YouTube sensations and Lord Williams’ School alumni! And then we thought we’d throw in a feature too: Brit feel good heart-warmer, Wild Rose.

The CuBOYd: World Premiere!
The CuBOYd began as a YouTube series in 2011, created by Thame filmmakers Jack Franks, Joe Phippen and Joe Ounsworth. The series followed the lives of boredom-fighting, cardboard-clad superhero (The Cuboyd) and his two cameramen (the two Joes), accumulating over one million views before the filmmakers began a hiatus to focus on university and work. Returning to their hometown, and struggling to rediscover their place in a less forgiving online media landscape, the filmmakers reunited to develop the concept into a short film. Bringing in cinematographer Olly Ross and boom operator Sam Roelandts, the team developed a more emotional story than expected which serves as a fitting end to a project that always celebrated the connection between friendship, youth and home.
The film will be followed by a short Q&A with Jack.

Wild Rose
UK 2019, 98 minutes, 15 certificate
Directed by Tom Harper, starring Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters, Sophie Okenedo

(This is an edited version of Mark Kermode’s review of Wild Rose, https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/apr/14/wild-rose-review-jessie-buckley)

The celebrated songwriter Harlan Howard famously defined country music as “three chords and the truth”, a phrase that would subsequently be adopted by the likes of Billy Bragg to define skiffle, punk and all points in between. Screenwriter Nicole Taylor (who wrote the BBC miniseries Three Girls) takes this punchy mantra and tattoos it on the arm of her heroine, an ex-con single mum, living in Glasgow but dreaming of Nashville. “I should have been born in America,” insists the indomitable Rose-Lynn, as she cuts an unruly swath through pubs, clubs and prison bars, reminding us that “Johnny Cash was a convicted criminal”. But beyond such bravado, it’s the power of music to pierce the heart that is the focus of this uplifting, bittersweet film, painting a picture of hardscrabble lives lent lyrical voice by the magic of country.


Jessie Buckley lights up the screen as Rose-Lynn Harlan; a 23-year-old firebrand, fresh out of jail, wearing an electronic tag beneath white cowgirl boots. Her redoubtable mum, Marion (Julie Walters), wants Rose-Lynn to settle down and take care of the kids she’s been minding while her daughter was in prison. But Rose-Lynn has a wanderlust that not even a strictly enforced curfew can quell. Enter Sophie Okonedo’s well-heeled Susannah, whose dissatisfaction with her own privileged life is assuaged when she spies raw talent in her new cleaning lady. Wowed by her anarchic cleaner’s voice, Susannah vows to help Rose-Lynn get her showbiz break. But Rose-Lynn hasn’t told her wide-eyed employer that she’s not quite the free spirit she seems – that she has family responsibilities tying her to Glasgow, rather than to London or Nashville. Affectingly directed by Tom Harper, Wild Rose combines the infectious, musically driven Brit-pic energy of Billy Elliot with the Americana grit of Crazy Heart or even Coal Miner’s Daughter. Despite the apparent disjunction between the rowdy stages of Rose-Lynn’s Glaswegian life and the hallowed halls of Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium (home of the Grand Ole Opry), Taylor finds transatlantic common ground between the grass-roots struggles that lie deep in the heart of this music, wherever it is played.


That sense of music giving voice to conflicts that might otherwise simply scream in silence is at the heart of Taylor’s script. It’s an idea that is embodied by Buckley, whose performance reaches out from the screen and grabs the audience by the throat. Brilliantly, she manages simultaneously to convey both boisterous confidence and searing self-doubt, rooting her character’s chin-forward recklessness in an underlying sense of confusion about her purpose and destiny. Plaudits, too, to the supporting players, who create a convincing network of warring allegiances. As Marion, Julie Walters is at once scolding and protective, determined to get her daughter back on track with her family, yet fiercely aware of the dreams that remain uncrushed. No wonder broadcasting giant Bob Harris agreed to an affectionate cameo, the cherry on the cake of a rousing, crowd-pleasing movie that promises to set hearts and heels pounding.